QOTD: What Car Would You Avoid Owning at All Costs?
Today, our question circles around cars with issues. The sort of issues that could send an owner to an early grave or perhaps some preventative therapy, at the very least. Cars with widely-known issues, bad ownership propositions for running costs, depreciation, safety, or something else — they all qualify today.
Which cars would you avoid owning at all costs?
Generally, when this sort of question is running around in my mind, I steer clear of the high-end exotica. You expect a Ferrari to be temperamental. You know a Lotus Esprit is going to mean headache-inducing, parts-sourcing adventures. What you don’t expect is for a car from a normal, everyday brand to be a thorn in the side. And yet it happens. Let’s have a look at a couple of examples.
The Cadillac Seville springs to mind. The Euro-fighting early ’90s entry from General Motors seemed like a great idea — and it looked great, what with that angular styling. But the Seville came complete with rather poor build quality and an early version of the 4.6-liter Northstar engine. There will be blood. Trim issues, head gaskets, electrical gremlins, take your pick. It’s all going to happen at some point, no matter how well you take care of the thing.
It seems like there’s a steady supply of ’90s and 2000s-era Sevilles and STS models lurking on the Internet, just waiting for some sucker to pick one up for $2,100. It’s at the top of my avoid list.
My second example is from a different GM era, but Spyker also deserves some blame here — for the final generation Saab 9-5. The final generation 9-5 was produced between 2010 and 2011 at Saab’s main factory in Sweden. Development and production of the 9-5 was rushed, as GM was in the middle of a forced sale of Saab as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Swedish supercar maker Spyker stepped in to pick up the pieces, and continued 9-5 production until it ran out of money in March of 2011.
The result is a solid platform underneath (GM Epsilon II, like the Malibu), with a half-baked and slapdash car built on top of it — a mix of standard GM and special Saab parts. I wouldn’t touch one with a 10-foot pole. The picture above is a 2011 9-5 presently for sale, and yes, the center stack is in that condition after 100,000 miles.
What are your picks for the vehicles you’d avoid at all costs?
[Images: Mini, YouTube, Wikipedia, seller]
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Pretty much any Jaguar/Land Rover product. I've been seduced way too many times by these beautiful devils. Not only is the engineering amateurish, the service isn't able to keep up with the defects. And somehow, even though my Range Rover was under warranty, I always had some massive non-warranty bill whenever I brought it in for service. Which was far too often. I'm ashamed to say, I've bought a couple of these nasty beasts. My last conversation with JLR at their NJ headquarters went something like this... "I'm a pretty mellow guy, and I've allowed you to turn me into a raging lunatic for the last time. I hope you have enjoyed all the money I've given your for these many years. Make the most of it, because it's the last dollar you'll ever see from me. Now I'm going to be the most vocal and rabid anti-enthusiast you can imagine."
Pontiac Aztec nor Anything Chrysler makes (excluding the Jeep Wrangler). Also I don't particularly care for anything the Russian's or Korean's have ever designed.